WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Hairless stems reach 6–24-inches tall (17–61 cm) tall with no leaves, or only a few on the lower 1/5 of the stem. Note the presence of a basal rosette, and the blue to purple flowers with 5 hairless, petal-like  sepals, 2 small, white upper petals in the center, 2 hairy lower petals, and a backward spur.


FLOWER: May–June. Loose clusters (raceme) along main stem with spreading flower branches (pedicels); flower branch hairless with tiny bracteoles at base of flower, and 2 bracts at base of flowering branches. 5 bright blue, hairless, petal-like sepals, 1 upper over the smaller petals, 2 lateral spreading sideways, 2 lower spreading downward; upper 2 petals white; lower 2 petals blue, covered with curly, white hairs; spur mostly straight, angled upward to 45 degrees; stamens exposed. The fruit cluster is tight, not spreading.


LEAVES: Basal only, or nearly so, 4–10 present at blooming. Blades rounded to 2 3/8 inches diameter (6 cm) with 3–9 rounded lobes.


HABITAT: Dry sandy, gravelly soils; desert scrub, grasslands, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa woodlands.


ELEVATION: 5,000–8,000 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CO, NM, UT.


SIMILAR SPECIES: The deep blue flowers with white petals in the center and leafless stems help distinguish this species. Dwarf Larkspur, D. nuttallianum, in much the same range, has spreading, not erect, clusters of fruit. Rocky Mountain Larkspur, D. scopulorum, reaches 4 feet tall with fine hairs on the lower half of the stem, and leaves with pointed lobes.


NM COUNTIES: Western half of NM in mid-elevation, dry habitats: Catron, McKinley, Grant, Hidalgo, Rio Arriba, San Juan, Sandoval, Socorro.

BARE-STEM  LARKSPUR, TALL  MOUNTAIN  LARKSPUR

DELPHINIUM  SCAPOSUM

Buttercup Family, Ranunculaceae

Perennial herb

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• Upper petals white and form spur (upper arrow).

• Lower petals covered with curly, white hairs (middle arrow.

• 5 petal-like sepals: 1 upper, 2 lateral, 2 lower (lower arrow).

Stems leafless, or nearly so (arrows).

Basal rosette  of rounded blades with short lobes is present when blooming.

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